Apr. 9—Cullman breezed past Muscle Shoals 12-3 on Thursday night, notching the program's 20th straight postseason berth.
The Class 6A No. 4 Bearcats registered a 1-0 lead on an RBI single from Zac Edwards in the second inning before scoring three runs in the third frame via passed balls to surge ahead 4-0.
Coach Brent Patterson's squad went on to plate a run in the fourth inning, five runs in the fifth and two in the sixth.
That was more than enough offense for Kaleb Heatherly, who scattered six hits, three earned runs and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of work. Brennen Norton and Hayden Stancil notched the final five outs of the contest via strikeout.
Jake Dueland led the way offensively with three hits, while Edwards (two RBIs) and Stancil netted two hits apiece. Heatherly (two RBIs), Norton (RBI), Matt Brock (RBI), Max Dueland and Hunter Brooks each delivered one hit.
"It doesn't get any less fun," Patterson said of the clincher. "The older you get, the more you realize it's not a given — and it gets more fun. It's harder and harder to keep doing these things. A lot of it is consistency and assistant coaches. We've had the same core for a long time. We all understand what we're trying to do. You get that tradition, and the kids coming up don't want to drop the baton. They want to do their part when it's their turn. It's harder to do, but it's more rewarding now."
The Bearcats bested the Trojans in the nightcap 9-2 to complete the doubleheader sweep and improve to 21-10.
See below for a capsule.
Cullman 9, Muscle Shoals 2
Brennen Norton: 3 hits (HR), 5 RBIs
Will Bradberry: 2 hits, RBI
Hayden Stancil: hit, RBI